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Monday, December 21, 2009

Newspaper Editorials Continue Same Old Tradition

The two editorials in Sunday's paper were Gazette classics. The newspaper's regular editorial featured their opinion and ideas about the latest tribulations between the Janesville city council and the fund-raising group trying to build support for a public skate park. In the past as now, the Gazette has not thrown the kind of positive support towards the skate park as they have toward other projects brought before the council. Most recent and notable was their heavy-handed editorial and articles against a small pocket of home owners trying to keep an alcohol-serving business with an outdoor sport's activity out of their neighborhood. Of course, the home owners eventually lost. In my opinion, the Gazette had absolutely no business injecting itself into such a personal matter between two private parties. But it's their newspaper.

Of course the skate park situation is different as it not only effects the entire city, it also effects what could be viewed as their neck of the woods, the beautiful Palmer Park. The newspaper maligns skateboarders as foul-mouthed ruffians whose primary mission is to disrupt the park's atmosphere and destroy private property.
JG Editorial Excerpt: (Titled: Will skatepark ever fly in Janesville)
We urge potential donors to keep an open mind about skateboarders. Like ice skaters and baseball and softball players, don't they deserve a place to recreate and practice their sport, a site where they won't be tempted to harm private property?
Instead, why not urge Palmer Park users and residents to keep an open mind about skateboarders? Using the Gazette's editorial license and critical perception of the skateboarders, why should any neighborhood feel any different or welcoming to the skateboarders than Palmer Park residents apparently feel? Ending these statements in question marks does not disqualify the paper from their obvious class discrimination and despite the Gazette's persistent and disparaging presumptions about skateboarders, I still urge people to keep an open mind about the Gazette.

The other editorial in Sunday's paper titled, "Council's meeting time not all about the Gazette" was the newspaper editor's perspective on positions taken by several Janesville city council members towards the newspaper's request to have council meetings start a half hour earlier.

Sorry, (as if it matters) but after reading it I'm now convinced it was all about the Gazette. Throwing the editing deadlines on the backs of three public servants working long hours for free was nothing more than a guilt-tripping political stunt. It really is not their (council's) problem. For all of my criticism and opposition to goofball city council decisions and the broken-down crony-controlled democratic process, if there's one thing they needn't apologize for, it's for tomorrow's edition of the Janesville Gazette.

If all this was out of concern in assuring that the public (constituents) stays informed and involved, why didn't the Gazette editorialize against the council cutting the city's newsletter?

But, if the newspaper wants to throw blame around for this circus act, they need not look no further than themselves and one council member, Tom McDonald.

When the resolution was introduced, it was McDonald acting as the Gazette's liaison, who ironically cast the deciding vote against the Gazette's request the first time around when the resolution failed 4 to 2. His vote would have been the fifth vote necessary to pass it. Not Steeber's, Voskuil's or Truman's. The Gazette, and more importantly council member McDonald, need to consider all the implications of their shadowy collusion and its consequences when they attempt to manipulate the process. It begs the questions. Was this the first time? Will it be the last?

As I've written here before, if I were on the council I would have voted for the time change request the first time around primarily out of respect for the newspaper. Now, I wouldn't be so sure.


Anonymous said...

I nearly suffocated on a swig of coffee reading the Sound Off comments about council starting times in todays paper. What a joke the Gazette is. Thanks for this blog, lou. Its a real eye opener!

Lou Kaye said...

You must be referring to the two statements from "we the people and the public" who don't participate in city government, never have been to a city council meeting, don't watch the meeting or reruns on TV, seldom if ever listen to the radio for news, don't bother to read the city newsletters and seldom get their news from the internet. Yet there is no excuse for the ungrateful city council to not speed up the news to meet the newspaper's deadlines. Comical.

Thanks for the nice remark, its appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Really, thank you. With all the high speed technology available with live broadcasts and the web that they refuse to use, they blame the council for the newspapers late delivery of news they don't care about anyways.

Nice chatting and Merry Christmas!

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